27 February 2014

Veggie Haggis & Tattie Pasties

Veggie Haggis & Tattie Pasties

Shop bought pastry is a handy fridge standby to put together a quick meal and it's such good quality, that I don't mind buying it instead of making it. It's a great time saver, but this post isn't about pastry, it's about mustard.

I have a love affair with mustard. My first crush on it was as a small child and the mustard was French. Not the authentic French mustard that comes from our neighbouring country, no, it was the little jars of brown mustard from Colemans.

I would sneak into the kitchen, climb onto the worktop and secretly delve into the store cupboard until I found the French mustard, then I would sit there happily eating it with a teaspoon until I was discovered.

I have a more sophisticated taste in my mustard relationships now and the mustard I used in this recipe was a Mustard with White Wine, Lemon and Garlic from Maille.

If you haven't come across Maille, they are a very old  French company established more than 265 years ago by father and son Antoine-Claude Maille and Antoine-Claude Maille.

They kindly sent me some of this mustard and a bottle of their Walnut Oil. I mixed some of their mustard through my veggie haggis to spice it up for the pasties.



veggie haggis nippied up with Maille mustard









print recipe

Veggie Haggis & Tattie Pasties
Pastry filled with veggie haggis mixed with mustard & spices, mashed potato and baked beans.
Ingredients
  • 1 packet ready rolled pastry
  • 275g veggie haggis
  • 2 tbsp Maille mustard
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp chilli powder
  • 200g mashed potato
  • 200g baked beans
Instructions
1. Preheat the oven to 190c /375f /Gas Mark 52. Cut 4 circles from the pastry using a bowl as a template.3. Mix the haggis with the mustard and spices and divide between the 4 pasties.4. Top with mashed potato and then beans. Seal the pastry and crimp the top. Slash the side to let steam out.5. Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes until golden. If you aren't making them vegan, you can brush them with beaten egg before popping them in the oven for a good colour.6. Enjoy!
Details
Total time:
Yield: Makes 4 pasties





Disclosure: I made this recipe on behalf of Maille. I was paid for my time and received some mustard and oil. I was not required to write a positive review and any opinions expressed are my own.

25 February 2014

Homemade Fluff & Chocolate Pancake Tower


Homemade Fluff & Chocolate Pancake Tower 


Homemade Fluff & Chocolate Pancake Tower Tefal challenged me to come up with an exciting new pancake recipe and I don't know why, but I immediately thought of homemade marshmallow fluff.

I've never tried the fluff sold in jars, but I can tell you the homemade fluff is sweet, rich and velvety. So decadent to eat.

I made traditional Scotch Pancakes and layered them with homemade fluff and topped the whole creation with melted chocolate, that oozed down the sides.

Oh boy it was good, but it's very sweet and definitely one for sharing.

My tips for making a successful Homemade Fluff Chocolate Pancake Tower: 

1. First you need a good quality non-stick frying pan (I'm loving the Tefal Superior Frying Pan I was sent out to try, what a difference it makes to have a good pan like this. No need to oil the pan and the pancakes just slide off. It's easy to clean too).

2. Make sure the fluff is really thick and the pancakes are cool before you stack them.

3. If you are nervous about your pancake tower standing proud, then use a cocktail stick in the middle to secure them, but make sure you let your guests know it's in there.

 4. Pour the melted chocolate over at the last minute, as the warmth from the chocolate will start to melt the fluff.

So get flipping then stack to your hearts content!

Oh and try not to just eat all the marshmallow fluff with a spoon until you feel sick! (This is harder than it sounds.)



For more pancake fun check out Tefal's Pancake Day page where you can be immortalised in your own pancake selfie.



print recipe
Homemade Fluff & Chocolate Pancake Tower
Homemade Fluff & Chocolate Pancake Tower
A decadent tower of scotch pancakes, sandwiched together with homemade marshmallow fluff and finished with a drizzle of warm melted chocolate.
Ingredients
  • 120g self-raising flour
  • 30g caster sugar
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 142ml/ ¼ pint milk

  • 2 large egg whites
  • 112g/ ½ cup caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • a pinch of salt
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract 

  • 100g dark chocolate

Instructions
1. First make your pancakes (this is up to you, you could make the fluff first) and heat a non-stick frying pan.2. In a jugs whisk together 1 large egg and half a cup of milk3. Sieve the flour into a large bowl with the sugar and salt, pour in the egg mixture and whisk in until well combined.4. Pour 1 tbsp of batter into the pan for each pancake. Use the back of your spoon to smooth them into a circle. Each pancake with take a couple of minutes, once they have a lot of bubbles over the surface, have a peek underneath. If it is golden, flip it. It only needs seconds on the other side to cook.5. Make the fluff now. You need a glass bowl that will fit over a pan to make a ban marie. Add a little hot water to the pan and simmer. Make sure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water.6. To the bowl add the egg whites, sugar, salt, syrup and vanilla extract. Whisk for 10 minutes until you have a thick glossy mixture, then take of the heat and continue whisking until the mixture has turned into thick, white and glossy fluff.7. Melt the chocolate in a bowl over the pan you whisked the fluff over. Just heat the water again and add a little more if required.8. Stack you pancakes, sandwiching them together with fluff and finish off with a drizzle of melted chocolate just before you serve them. Remember to tell guests if you have added a toothpick to secure the stack.9. Enjoy!
Details
Total time:
Yield: Makes 2 x 6 pancake stacks


Disclosure: Tefal kindly sent me pans so I could develop my recipe. I was not required to write a positive review and any opinions expressed are my own.

Abra-ca-Debora Pancake Hamper Giveaway


Shrove Tuesday or as it is more often called Pancake Day is coming soon and to celebrate it I have this rather fabulous hamper from Abra-ca-Debora to giveaway.

It's filled with full size and mini pancakes and some rather scrummy toppings. What more do you need to celebrate pancake day?

Abra ca Debora sell ready to serve Dutch pancakes.

Q. What is a Dutch pancake?

 

They’re rather like the pancakes that British families eat on Pancake Day. Abra ca Debora make them from flour, fresh milk, eggs and vegetable oil. Dutch pancakes are usually the size of a dinner plate, thicker than a crêpe and thinner than an American pancake. They’re yummy with sweet and savoury toppings.

Check out the Abra ca Debora website for some great topping ideas.

If you would like to enter just leave a comment telling me what your favourite pancake topping is and then enter using the rafflecopter box below.

This giveaway will run until 4 March 2014 (Pancake Day) and is open to residents of the UK.

Good luck everyone!


a Rafflecopter giveaway




There's still time to enter my Triple Cookbook Giveaway and remember to check The Food Blog Diary regularly for all the latest foodie giveaways.

Disclosure: Abra ca Debora kindly sent me a hamper out to try. I was not expected to write any positive reviews and any opinions expressed are my own.

22 February 2014

St Clements Smoothie

St Clements Smoothie

I adore my latest smoothie creation, St Clements Smoothie!

I do love citrus fruit. On their own, in a dressing, flavouring a cake or dessert, in yoghurt, as a juice or in a smoothie.  This time I went for two of the best and a nursery rhyme immediately sprang into my head as soon as I put oranges and lemons together.

Oranges and Lemons Song
photo: "The Pictorial World", Agnes Rose Bouvier (1842 - 1892)
"Oranges and lemons, say the bells of St Clements,
 
You owe me five farthings, say the bells of St Martins,

 
When will you pay me, say the bells of Old Bailey,
When I get rich, say the bells of Shoreditch,

 
When will that be, say the bells of Stepney,
How should I know, says the big old bell at Bow,

 
And here comes a candle to light you to bed ........"


I just hope you don't know the rest of the song. I'm really not a violent person!

I do remember playing that game as we sang the same song in the playground as a child. Did you play it too?

I made this recipe using my beloved vitamix, but if you can't afford one of those then pop over to the Yeo Valley website where they are giving away a Compact Power Juicer from Cuisinart – worth £100 along with their new Limited Edition 0% Fat Orange, Carrot & Mango Yeogurt.

Orange, Carrot & Mango Yoghurt
I can confirm  the new yoghurt is most yummy, especially for a 0% fat yoghurt. In fact I think the new yoghurt or Yeogurt as they call it must have inspired me because I have been making a lot of orange and carrot smoothies for Cooper and I since I tried it.

My St Clements Smoothie doesn't have carrot in it, but it does have oranges and lemons and it is slurpilicious! Cooper gave it his stamp of approval too.

Get juicing!


print recipe
St Clements Smoothie
St Clements Smoothie
A fruity smoothie with a gorgeous citrus flavour. Slurp!
Ingredients
  • 4 easy peelers
  • 3 red apples
  • 100 ml orange juice
  • juice from 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp Yeo Valley 0% Greek Style Yoghurt
  • 1 tsp honey
Instructions
1. Peel the fruit.2. Blend the fruit with the orange juice, lemon juice, yogurt and honey. If you are using a juicer, juice the fruit then whisk, blend or shake in the other ingredients. A tupperware jar with a tight lid would do the job nicely.3. I like to add ice cubes when I am blending the fruit, but if you are juicing the fruit, then just add the ice to the glass.4. Enjoy!
Details
Total time:
Yield: 4 glasses




Top 10 Smoothies 

For more inspiration check out my Top 10 Smoothies and Top 10 Shakes over at Baby Centre. They are just as good for big people too. Some of my ultimate shakes and smoothies are in there.

Also check out these delicious smoothies from two of the nicest bloggers around.



Name: Kellie
Blog: Food to Glow
Location: Edinburgh

Kellie is a food blogger, but she is also a health educationist and nutrition adviser for Maggie’s Cancer Caring Centres and she really believes in  making the most of plant foods for their taste and potential cancer-fighting properties. Her belief shines through all her recipes, which are super healthy and instantly make you drool!

Here are a couple of Kellie's Smoothies:




Kale, Sour Cherry & Cocoa Smoothie
Pretty Green Tea Smoothie


Name: Helen
Blog: Fuss Free Flavours
Location: London

Helen really believes in including lots of fruit and veg in her meals as part of a healthy diet. In fact she whizzes up a smoothie for herself every day. She totally loves her vitamix too and there are always lots of yummy drinks on her blog.


Here are a couple of Helen's smoothies:


Blackberry & Apple Green Smoothie



Strawberry & Coconut Smoothie





Disclosure: I developed this recipe for Yeo Valley to promote their competition. They provided me with a juicer and some yoghurt to create my recipe. I was not required to write a positive review and any opinions expressed are my own.


19 February 2014

Triple Cookbook Giveaway

 

I love shopping!!!

Have I told you that before? Even a grocery shopping trip to my local Tesco. I know I should go in with a list and buy just what is on it, but I get distracted by the homeware and kitchenware and DVDs and clothes and of course cookbooks. Sometimes my purse escapes unscathed, but not always.

I am lucky to be sent cookbooks for review, but there are always some that catch my eye and I do think the prices in Tesco are great. It takes the sting out of the purchase.

So for February I've a triple cookbook giveaway from Tesco. The books are from some of the greats. I know, I know the Mary Berry book is a Christmas one, but lets face it, it comes around every year and I'm sure you'd love to get your mitts on it.

To take part just leave a comment telling me your favourite TV cookery chef and then enter using the rafflecopter box below. The giveaway runs until 30 March 2014 and is open to UK residents.

Good luck everyone!


 
Follow on Bloglovin

14 February 2014

Easy Valentine Donuts

easy valentine donuts 


Despite planning a Valentine gift guide, the day has still come around and I have nothing organised. Well I do, but it's not a romantic meal for two.

My in-laws are over from Cyprus and here for the weekend. It's such a shame, the temperature is such a shock to them and they've been greeted with torrential rain,which has now turned to snow.

We're heading out for a meal tonight, but this afternoon I made these Easy Valentine Donuts.

I used a basic victoria sponge mixture and baked the doughnuts, then when they were cool, I iced them and topped them with sprinkles.

For the perfect Valentine treat serve these easy Valentine donuts with a Apricot and Mango Milkshake.


easy valentine donuts




print recipe

Easy Valentine Donuts
Quick vanilla donuts with a drizzle of pink icing and sprinkles.
Ingredients
  • 4 large eggs
  • 225g caster sugar
  • 225g self-raising flour
  • 225g butter, softened
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
Instructions
1. Preheat you oven to 180c/160c fan/350f/gas mark 4.2. In a stand mixer or with an electric whisk, whisk all the ingredients until light and fluffy.3. Spray your donut pan with baking release spray.4. Pipe batter into each ring until it is just above half way up.5. Bake for 8-10 minutes until a skewer comes out clean.6. Allow to cool for a little while in the an, then leave on a wire rack to cool completely. Once they are cool you can ice the, and add sprinkles.7. Enjoy!
Details
Total time:
Yield: Makes 18 donuts




I am entering my donuts into a few challenges:
 
1 Treat Petite hosted by my lovely friend Cakeyboi and The Baking Explorer

10 February 2014

Spiced Tofu Fingers

Spiced Tofu Fingers



Cooking and baking with kids is so important. It helps them to learn about food and encourages them to try new things as well as developing new skills.

I usually bake with Cooper, but I do take him into the kitchen to help prepare meals too. You'll see in my sidebar I have a selection of easy recipes for kids. Some of them are designed to get as much good stuff into them as possible and others are simple recipes for kids to make themselves (with a little bit of help).

Today Cooper made some Spiced Tofu Fingers. They are a bit like breaded mozzarella in taste and texture, but they are dairy free and packed with protein. I used bought golden breadcrumbs that were sitting in my store cupboard staring at me petulantly. I usually make fresh breadcrumbs, but these were perfect for this dish and I perked them up with spices. Make sure you use regular tofu and not silken tofu, which won't work for this recipe, it's just too soft.

Spiced Tofu Fingers - step one
Drain the tofu.


Spiced Tofu Fingers - step two
Wrap in kitchen paper and teatowels.

Spiced Tofu Fingers - step three
Add a weight on top. Heavy books are perfect.
Spiced Tofu Fingers - step four
After the moisture has drained out, slice into fingers.
Spiced Tofu Fingers - step five
Roll the fingers in spiced breadcrumbs.
Spiced Tofu Fingers - step six
Bake or lightly fry in a little rapeseed oil until golden and crispy (mummy can help with this).



Vegan Spiced Tofu Fingers

Enjoying Spiced Tofu Fingers
Dunk in ketchup!
Tofu Fingers
I love them this much!




print recipe

Spiced Tofu Fingers
A dairy free version of breaded mozzarella sticks. A fabulous healthy snack or starter for kids and adults.
Ingredients
  • 2 x 396g blocks tofu
  • ½ cup golden breadcrumbs
  • 3 tsp onion powder
  • 1½ tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • a good grinding of black pepper
  • a little rapeseed oil for frying
Instructions
1. Drain the tofu, then wrap it in kitchen paper and teatowels. Weight with heavy books and leave for half an hour to drain the excess liquid from the tofu.2. Unwrap the tofu and slice into fingers.3. Mix the breadcrumbs with the spices and pour onto a plate. Dip the tofu fingers in the breadcrumbs until well coated.4. Bake or fry in a little oil until golden and crunchy.5. Serve with ketchup for dipping.6, Enjoy!
Details
Total time:
Yield: Makes 20 tofu fingers



You can check out more of Cooper's kids recipes over at Baby Centre where he has his own cookery segment called Cooking with Cooper.

For more kids recipes check out the fabulous family blogs Eat Your Veg and Bangers and Mash, also have a look over at the Tesco Baby Club where there are some fabulous family recipes for pregnancy, babies, toddlers and families. And finally, Great British Chefs have a great selection for recipes for Cooking with Kids.


Disclosure: I wrote this post on behalf of Tesco Baby Club, who paid me for my recipe. I was not required to write a positive review and any opinions expressed are my own